I am now the proud owner of an Amazon Kindle Fire HD. I got it for my birthday. It joins my Barnes and Noble Nook Color.
One would think I’m a “techie” with these electronic readers. After all, why do I need two? My reasoning was I wanted to have the best of both worlds – sometimes I’d moan and groan about a cheaper book on Amazon than on Barnes and Noble. Well, problem solved.
So I’ve spent the past couple of months “getting to know” my Kindle. In the process, I can’t help but compare the two. More often than not, the Kindle comes out on the short end. The HD aspect of the Kindle is awesome. Well, that is, after I figured out how to play a movie. It involved a lot of Googling and a lot of asking “those in the know,” as in true e-reader techies.
The newer Kindle Fire HDs don’t come with Adobe Flash player, which is needed to play movies. It usually comes standard, especially in personal computers. I found out that Adobe doesn’t support Android products as of August 2012 – so this really isn’t just a Kindle problem, it’s become an Android problem. I just happened to be taking out the frustration on the Kindle. My Nook Color has Flash and it’s a couple of years old.
So I had to first download a file/program manager on to the Kindle, then a browser called Dolphin, which supports Flash. Then I could finally download Flash. Now I can play movies and enjoy the HD – I just have to make sure I’m on the Dolphin browser. It prompts, so I don’t forget. I have to admit, the sound is pretty cool for such a little piece of technology.
My next issue was sorting the books I downloaded. I didn’t waste any time downloading several freebies or those that weren’t that expensive. But then, how to find them? I could sort by title, download date or author. I needed more sort features. My Nook allows me to create shelves, so I can sort into genres or categories of my choosing. I download a lot of samples to see if I want to buy the book and I like to keep my samples separated from full texts. Kindle doesn’t offer a way to do that, so I bought an app for that: Collections for Kindle Fire. I didn’t like having to purchase it, but the couple of bucks outlay has been well worth the price.
The one thing I didn’t like about my Nook Color was the lack of apps. Pitifully few. The newer HDs now have access to Google apps, which is wonderful for “them” but not for me. So, after doing more Googling and chatting with others, I learned about N2A cards and rooting the Nook Color in order to tap into the Google apps.
My eyes glazed over when I was getting instructions on how to “root” my Nook. I took that as a sign that I’d better not go there. Then another online friend said she’d give me her N2A card, which is a microSD card. Nook Colors come with micro card slots for extra storage. I’d never used mine before. (Take the card out, and it goes right back to being a Nook Color.)
The N2A cards come preloaded with a different operating system that turns the Nook Color into a true Android instrument. Google apps opens up an entire new world, one in which I wouldn’t have needed a Kindle Fire HD. I could have just downloaded a Kindle app.
My little tiny world-opening card is waiting for me at home. The N2A website states, “No experience necessary.”
I certainly hope not.
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.